HOUSTON -

For Labor Day weekend, Houston Newsmakers focuses on the challenge of filling the jobs and career gaps projected for Southeast Texas.

Dr. Gennevieve Stevens is the Houston Community College Dean of workforce instruction and says there is no doubt a gap exists but that HCC is actively working to narrow it. “

We have a workforce program and all kinds of programs that are designed not only to educate but to put people to work.” she said. “Houston with its biggest growing economy that never stops, we're prepared to meet that challenge.”

Professor Paul Quinn is the interim Dean of Houston Community College construction trades and says the HCC programs that are one semester long can yield big dividends.

“Once you've got a level one certificate, lets say in welding, you can go out and earn 40 to 60 thousand dollars,” he said. “And that's after one semester so we have a lot of opportunity there.”

Also this week SER Houston is in the spotlight. This organization is almost 50 years old and started as a job bank for Hispanic veterans. It has grown and made incredible impact within the communities it serves. Nory Angel is executive director and says SER is an incredible safety net for many who might otherwise fall through the cracks, including one eight month program called YouthBuild that pays high school dropouts to learn.

“The student spends half their time in GED classes, half their time in construction training,” she said. “They get a chance to go on habitat for humanity sites and help build affordable housing for low income people.”

Genesys Works-Houston creates relationships between fortune 500 companies and High school students. Those relationships provide youth from disadvantaged areas the opportunity to experience a lifestyle and career path they may not have ever imagined. Marian Davenport is the Executive Director and says how the program works and how others might apply to get in.

“It's a win win all the way around,” she said. “The young people get the experience of being in that professional work environment and most importantly see themselves as successful.”

Important jobs information on this week's Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. Watch it Sunday at 10 a.m., right after Meet the Press.

More Information:
• Gennevieve Stevens, Ed.D, Dean, Workforce Instruction, 713-718-7596
• Paul Quinn, Interim Dean, HCC Construction Trades, 713-718-8932
• Nory Angel, Executive Director, SER-Houston ,713-773-6000
• Trevion Coleman, Student SER YouthBuild, 713-773-6000
• Marian Davenport, Executive Director, Genesys Works-Houston 713-341-5777